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Eurostar Carpark Travelling

October 4, 2015
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Sitting in a car stuffed with us and our survival
In a submarine train like a long yellow worm,
Tunnelling in its own right
Shedding its own light
Darting between the threads of two worlds

There’s no indication of velocity
Nothing discernible, no visual clue
As the tunnel sides whizz
The sounds are muffled
Gravity and G-force incomprehensible
We merely sit, parked
At great invisible speed.

We could be in Nova Scotia
Or Honolulu or Saskatchewan,
Inside Mont Blanc
Or Al Barz in Iran
The way could be blocked
In both directions
And we could be lost forever

In a tunnel, below an ocean,
Under a busy sea lane.
Not in a country but a no-man’s underworld
Neptune on the other side of a concrete tube
A tube train with no stations
Only termini.
Heading for France

 


Love New Labour’s Lost

September 14, 2015
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Back in the fold, the white sheep stare,

chewing the cud that they always chew,

warm in the wool that they always share,

bleating of goats next door, as they do.

 

Goats are the winners.  Don’t ask for fair

kind of treatment, just bleatment and butting at you.

They’ve very hard horns and devour what’s spare

and sheep have to keep to the back of the queue.
Hang on a mo!  This is goatland nightmare!

A ram that butts back with its own point of view?

Rams cannot lead – they’re a danger.  Beware!

We’re in it together. Goats have told you.

Keep him at the back, we can laugh at him there.
Hell knows he’ll turn sheep into mincemeat or stew.

Don’t listen to him, he is far too aware.

But…

from where has this crowd of rams come into view?


My Mum and Me

March 16, 2015
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It was a chilly evening in November

We walked through Greenwich street, my mum and me,

Our toes and fingers frozen, I remember.

The Cutty Sark is what we’d been to see.

It was quite a day as I recall.

We’d stood, one foot in East and one in West

And seen the standard measures on the wall,

And so many telescopes impressed.

We looked out from the hill across the river,

Passed through dwindling crowds as we descended.

The icy wind caught crinkled leaves together,

Now and then to fade, its force expended.

Our coats pulled tightly round our back,

Arms linked in unity, we strode

To chance upon a brazier, glowing black

Beside a scruffy trader of the road.

Pink digits poking from his woolly mitts,

He raked the embers on their bed of slag,

His voice directed to the empty street,

“Hot chestnuts? ­ Six pennyworth a bag!”

Our eyes glowed bright, mouths leaking inward willing.

A stiff­necked, half­glanced smile we gave to us.

“Two bags, please!” she said, extending shilling.

Hot chestnuts, hand­rolled, gave in with no fuss

And warmed us, waiting homeward for the bus.


Uncivil Service

August 16, 2014
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Bills are signed, sealed and dated.
Plans are met, dreams frustrated,
Schemes of war contemplated
By men of grey who fail.

Papers pushed, emails sent,
OBEs paid like rent,
Not for good, not for right.
Consequences out of sight,
Out of mind – not polite.
Such sense would make them pale.

Ticking boxes for their bosses,
Some for gains, others losses.
Daily grinds for clerks’ assistants.
Results are kept at a distance.
Many lives with spoiled existence
Hang from this paper trail.


Falling Into The Sun

May 29, 2014
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Germaine Greer thinks a newsrag, a newspaper called The Sun
Is purely for viewing by old men, ‘Page 3’ a dose of fun.
From her ancient, lofty and intellectual stance,
It’s harmless in a paper – young women just in pants.
She bought a load of forests that surely do need protection
But doesn’t see the soil that needs some closer inspection,
Saplings growing fungus may be eating through the bark
Forming in rather a mangled way, unseen in subconscious dark.

Young minds printed like paper, imprint is clear as day.
What they witness being ‘accepted’, louder than words can say.
Large pics of young girls’ bodies are everyone’s property here:
At table for family breakfast, or tea or evening beer;
In workplaces where there are restrooms, in streets, lunchtime canteens,
Holiday hotel receptions, nestled beside magazines;
Newsstands in so many hospitals and college campuses too;
Promoting a sexist notion that it is normal for women to do.

Here is a paper for news that is licensed for millions to see
What’s happening in their environment. But what is portrayed on page 3?
It’s a nude, painted up just to ogle, not news and not sport and not art.
It is there just for fun, just to look at – an object – a woman – a tart.
There isn’t a man in the paper who doesn’t have something to tell
But this has no skill and no function. It has only nothing to sell –
Except a young skin and firm breasts for the world to lust on or admire
And for innocent female children, an object to which they aspire.

And what are the teen boys learning, the ones who are growing up, too?
Continual pictures of burgeoning breasts for them to compare women to.
Women are silent on page 3. They are not expected to speak.
If they do they are laughed at, derided, their dumbness in papers unique.
Young men enjoy sex stimulation. Normal girls that they see in the paper’,
Stripped, so men know what they’re there for. “If my girl won’t, I’ll have to make her.”
“Anyway, what’s the big problem? She’ll probably like it like that!”
Which makes the girls think that they’re ugly to make him behave like a prat.

So they look closely into the mirror, see rubbish with terrible skin
And any small blemish seems massive, where should transformation begin?
Photoshopped pictures, sexed up, in all of those gloss magazines
Have ads that cure all of their ills with costly cosmetics and creams.
Routines and diets and surgery soon are considered as cures.
They judge others – “My new eyeliner is really much better than yours.”
The faked glossy magazines feed on brainwashing that once was begun
By accepting the ‘innocent’ female nudes on page 3 who fell into The Sun.

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Finding Entropy

March 2, 2014
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Never mind the fire
Never mind the pain
Catharsis trickles from those lovely eyes
Mingles with your thoughts of summer rain
Feeling the cooling winds
Spinning fiercely round bins of green and brown
Discarding into sheltered nooks
Castaways

 

 

 

 

 


Anyone Who Has A Chart

February 5, 2014
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Meteorologists and geologists need a map.
Archaeologists and cosmologists need a map.
Lumpy ones are perfect for phrenologists,
And you need them for gigs if you happen to be a monologist.

Architects and geographers need a map.
Dictators and world dominators need a map.
They’re positively vital if you’re a general,
But if you’re a ghost you need something more ephemeral.

Singaporeans and Ecuadoreans need a map.
Willenhall-eans getting to Aldridge need a map.
A captain needs a map or a chart to embark.
West Midland Safari Park has one with a claw mark.

Climatologists and seismologists need a map.
Philologists and ecologists need a map.
Lorries need ’em for every Daf, Merc and Foden,
And anyone seeking assistance to hide Edward Snowden

Estates Agents in any area need a map.
Cowboy on Texas prairie! Ya needs a map!
If you’re sailing past Somalia in your little yacht,
You won’t need a map, just a few more brains than you’ve got.

For taxis to learn ‘the knowledge’ they need a map,
And people designing satnavs need a map.
I could have been a cartographer, perhaps,
But I’ll stick to my writing and draw the line at maps.


Twelfth Night

January 7, 2014
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Christmas boxed,
Neatly filed
Friends detoxed,
Taxis dialled
Relatives sorted,
Kissed, returned
Greeting cards
Ripped and burned
Tree in attic,
Glitter hoovered
Cushion (batik)
Now manoeuvred
Into bag
That Santa brought.
Jigsaw finished…
One piece short.


Ex-Mas

December 27, 2013
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I used to love to get it out and show it off to everyone who came to our house and home.
I used to do the whole caboodle – my adornments hanging freely out for all to view and gasp.
But then it started getting harder; people didn’t want to see it, so much so they wouldn’t come,
Started coming much less often, seen it better and more entertaining they would coldly rasp.

It isn’t funny any more when vegan-friendliness interprets all your ways as naff or sad
Teens and twenties dump your music just to listen to the throbbing of the headache sounds of crackheads
Older relatives won’t travel: much too feeble; much too frail; Virgin Rail? Are you mad?
And those who’ve “made it” – those with “readies” get the total modern, epic courtesy of Harrods

So my baubles not as shiny, so they hang a little lower on my artificial branches,
And my angels tinkle vaguely and there’s house-dust on the fairy, verdigris on my gold rings,
So the tinsel suffers from a case of alopecia, and the sign hung in the window broadcasts Hapn Cri tmas
Still I think my old things score as they have something more to offer – more than mere glitter brings

This old toilet tissue cardboard with the cotton wool around it and the floppy fuzzy-felt hat.
That’s the snowman that our small girl made us when she was at juniors, stuffed with joy.
The reindeer bells that jangle coarsely hanging on the outer door, gladdened as I crossed the mat.
I like to think, if Jesus entered, in his civvies, he would say – “You done good, boy!”


Painted Maybes

December 6, 2013
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Filling a book of futures with planned desires
Hopes are mounted like empty photographs
Whose pictures we supply,
a priori.
Each image, when it’s due, removed
And pasted in the book of me on the page of now
Painted with reality,
a posteriori
Time passes and each life moves on with its own pulse
Marking moments as the turn of chapters,
Marking moments as the flicking of pages
That fill the heart with recollections
Of joys and pains and the mind’s reflections.
And hope’s pictures unachieved gently rest as feathers in the book of fallen dreams.


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